Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekly Menu for Dec. 7

Hi Everyone!!!! And welcome to the new members of my Weekly Menu!

Has the hustle and bustle of the season worn you out? I am about done! Meaning cooked, fried, you name it – oh and you thought I was talking about cooking! Not exactly. That being said I am going to take the rest of the year off to enjoy the holiday season – which will include lots of baking and wrapping and party-hopping! Keep checking the blog – I may post a few of my favorite holiday appetizers!!! Thus the next menu you will receive will be in the New Year!

As my one-year anniversary of the menu approaches, I would like to thank you all for being a part of my weekly menu! This past year has been one of ups and downs – as they all are. But what has remained a constant is my menu and all of you! I have met so many of you over the year and heard from many more. It means so much to me that you are enjoying the menu and that my little bit of planning has helped ease the craziness of the dinner hour!

From my family to yours we wish you a holiday season filled with peace and joy and a very Happy New Year!

Here is this week’s menu:


Roasted Chicken - Double Duty Meal
Balsamic Glazed Carrots
Wild Rice

Roasted Chicken

2 roasting or fryer chickens – this will depend on the size of your family
2 T. olive oil
Poultry seasoning
4 sprigs of fresh sage and thyme (or 2 t. of dried sage and thyme)
2 onions, quartered

Remove and discard giblets from chicken; rinse under cold water and pat dry. Rub chickens with olive oil. Place onion and fresh herbs inside the cavity of each chicken. (If you are using dried herbs, sprinkle on the outside of the chicken.) Sprinkle with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.

If desired, tie ends of legs together with heavy string. Lift wing tips up and under chicken. Place chickens, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. (Some people like to cook theirs breast side down. Just be sure to turn it breast side up for the last ½ hour of cooking so they can get nice and browned.) Bake according to the package. Usually, a 4-5lb chicken will cook at 375˚ for 1 hour and 50 minutes or until juices run clear or a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 180˚. Please adjust the cooking time to the weight of your chicken. When in doubt – just wait for the built in timer to pop! This can be found in the breast of the chicken.

Serve one roasted chicken and cover and refrigerate the other for later use.

Prepare the carrots while your chicken is resting – be sure to keep your chicken covered with foil while the carrots are in the oven so it stays warm.

Balsamic Glazed Carrots (This is our favorite way to eat carrots)

1 pkg of baby carrots
Olive or Canola oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450˚. Place carrots on jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with oil and vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. The carrots will be slightly glazed and firm, not mushy.


BBQ Pork Sandwiches - Double Duty Meal
Cole Slaw

BBQ Pork

2-3 lbs. of pork – I have used pork roast (the dark meat side of the loin), pork shoulder, or pork tenderloins. Use whatever is on hand or on special.
Salt, pepper and garlic powder – enough to season the entire roast
Kaiser rolls

Place pork in your crock-pot. Rub the seasonings into the pork. Add enough water to cover all of the pork. Cook on low for 8-10 hours (you can do this overnight too – beware of late-night cravings as the aroma fills your house) until the pork falls apart and can be pulled with two forks. Remove the pork from the crock-pot and shred it. Drain the crock-pot. Add your favorite BBQ sauce to the crock-pot and turn it to high and heat the sauce for a few minutes. Add the shredded pork to the BBQ sauce.

Take the Kaiser rolls and butter the insides. Place under the broiler until toasted. To assemble, place pork on toasted bun and top with cole slaw or serve the slaw on the side.

I have included an incredibly easy and delicious recipe for BBQ sauce. If you opt for the bottle version, Costco has a FABULOUS brand – “Famous Dave’s” – it has great flavor with just enough heat. It comes in a 3-pk so this would be a great “Divide and Conquer” item to share with a friend!

Quick and Easy BBQ Sauce

½ C. olive oil
1 stick of butter
2 cups of ketchup
1 T. of Tobasco
1 small bottle of Worcestershire Sauce
½ C. of brown sugar
2 T. of minced onion
1 T. salt or less to taste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Juice of one lemon

Bring all of the ingredients to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. This is enough sauce for a 2-3 lb. boneless pork roast – if using a pork shoulder (usually with the bone and my favorite cut for pulled pork) the weight can be higher.

Tangy Cole Slaw (adapted from Cooking Light – my favorite!!!)

1 pkg. of slaw mix
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard, mayonnaise, salt, black pepper, and red pepper in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add the mustard mixture to cabbage mixture, and toss well to coat. Cover and chill for 20 minutes. Stir before serving.

I love that this ONLY has 2 T. of mayo!!!! Use reduced fat for an even healthier version!


Spinach and Feta-Stuffed Focaccia
Fresh Fruit Salad

Spinach and Feta-Stuffed Focaccia (adapted from Cooking Light)

1 T. olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 box of frozen spinach
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
3 T. pine nuts toasted (optional)
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 ½ t. chopped fresh oregano
¼ t. salt
Dash of ground red pepper
1 (13.8 oz.) can of refrigerated pizza crust dough
Cooking spray
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450˚.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add spinach and sauté another minute. Remove from heat and stir in feta and next 6 ingredients (through red pepper).
Place dough on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Pat dough into a 15 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread spinach mixture lengthwise over half of the dough leaving a one-inch border. Fold over the other half of the dough and press edges together with a fork. Cut diagonal slits in top of the dough.
Brush beaten egg over the crust. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 450˚ for 15 minutes or until golden.


Brunswick Stew - Leftovers reinvented!!!

Brunswick Stew

1 onion, chopped
2 T. of olive oil
Leftover chicken cut up into bite-size pieces
Leftover pork BBQ – about 2 cups
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of frozen corn
2 cups of frozen lima beans, thawed
2 cups of chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or stock-pot. Sauté the onion until just soft. Add the remaining ingredients and season to taste. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for at least an hour. This is a great thick and hearty soup!


French Bread Pizza
Tossed Salad

French Bread Pizza

Loaf of French bread
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Favorite pizza toppings

Take the French Bread and slice it lengthwise so you have two halves. Add your sauce and cheese and favorite toppings. Place in an oven heated at 450˚ and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is crisp. Slice into 2” pieces and enjoy!

And now for the shopping list. As always, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see if you already have any of the items listed below. This will reduce your spending and create less waste!


Baby Carrots
Fruit for fruit salad - blueberries and blackberries are on sale
Fresh sage and thyme – or the fresh poultry mix
Fresh oregano
4 onions - GE special on sweet onions
2 Lemons
Slaw mix
Salad - GE special

Kaiser Rolls
French Bread - GE special
Parmesan cheese
Pepperoni and other toppings for pizza

Olive oil
Poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Garlic powder
Worcestershire Sauce
Brown sugar
Sugar - GE special
Minced onion
Whole-grain mustard
Mayo - GE special on Hellmann's
Ground red pepper
Cooking spray
Chicken broth

Canned Goods/Ethinic Foods/Dry Goods
Wild Rice
Rice wine vinegar
Pine nuts – optional
Can of diced tomatoes – 14.5 oz.
Pizza sauce

Seafood/Meat Case/ Butcher
2 whole roasting or fryer chickens – Roasting on special at GE $1.29/lb. or Fryers $.89/lb.
Pork shoulder – GE special B1G1

Frozen Foods
Box of chopped spinach
Bag of frozen corn
Bag of frozen lima beans

Pizza crust
Biscuits - GE special
Mozzarella Cheese - GE special on Kraft



Thanks again to everyone who has passed on my menu! I really appreciate it and am grateful that you are enjoying the recipes and the savings!

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!